Ipswich’s Partner in Innovation

Georgia Hewett tries out a virtual reality system.

Ipswich’s new Entrepreneurial Hub, codenamed Fire Station 101 because it is housed in a renovated Ipswich Fire Station on Limestone Street, has a global-level partner in Accenture, contracted by Ipswich City Council to help develop the space, then prepare strategies for its operation going forward.

Digital Lead, David Maunsell said the strategies will focus on how different organisations can come together to take advantage of the tech space, the ideas and the collaboration to produce something special – hopefully, innovation.

“It’s important to lay the foundation for future growth, how this hub can become the catalyst for creating the next wave of value for the people of Ipswich.

“We think places like Fire Station 101 will become more and more important as communities figure out what they are going to be next, with digital technology,� he said.

“We are living through a period of remarkable change, and innovation hubs will enable communities to build digital bridges between like-minded communities.�

The all-important employment growth potential is a prime focus for a connected city.

“Our kids are heading into a future in which seventy per cent of the jobs haven’t been invented yet, and entrepreneurial hubs help us to figure out what we want our kids to do in this not-yet-known future workforce,� David said.

“These people could conceivably have ten careers in their lifetime. Wow, that could be fantastic!

“Hubs like this can be really important in enabling and preparing some businesses now, and when we get some kids in here in the future, enabling them to create Ipswich’s future, create Australia’s future, maybe even play a part in a global future as well.�

David says that FS101 is starting out from a solid base.

“I’ve been in lots of places that have been established to turn some insanely good ideas into innovation, where ultimately there will be markets, and this is as good as any I have seen,� he said.

“I think the value is in the calibre of people that cross-fertilise each other’s ideas here.

That’s where the magic will happen.

“The space is a connected venue, but it’s going to be the people Ipswich attracts here who are really into exploring ‘what if’ – what if we did it like this. That is the exciting prospect, and the members here already are open to exchanging good ideas, so that’s a good start.â€?